Switch Makes Cents
Switch Makes Cents is a load management program that our cooperative has offered to members since 1985. This program curbs electric demand during peak times to prevent the need to build additional generating facilities or incur higher wholesale power costs. It reduces our system peak usage by as much as 20 megawatts (MW) in the summer and 12 MW in the winter. This is equivalent to powering approximately 3,200 homes!
It works by reducing total electric demand during times of peak-use, generally between 6:00-10:00 am and 3:00-9:00 pm, when people are commonly at home. On average, the Switch Makes Cents program saves 30.1 MW per year for a total of $477,000 benefit to Nishnabotna Valley REC.
Nishnabotna Valley REC is in the process of replacing existing load management switches used in our radio frequency communication platform. Since the beginning of the load management program, a member service advisor or a contracted electrician has installed and inspected existing load management switches to ensure that they remained operational. However, since the program began in the mid 1980s, new technology has made it possible and necessary to replace those switches.
The new radio frequency load management switches offer two-way communication. Not only can your Cooperative communicate with the switch to start controlling load, but the switch can also communicate back to the Cooperative. Now, instead of your Cooperative estimating the load shed when we control, we will receive real-time data that the switch is not only operational but also how much load is actually shed. In fact, members can also view what load is shed online or with a mobile device through our SmartHub software.
How Can I Participate in Switch Makes Cents?
Why Participate in Switch Makes Cents?
When you opt in to participate in the Switch Makes Cents load management program, you will have the benefit of avoiding demand costs as well as receiving a either reduced energy rate or incentive bill credits just for opting in to Switch Makes Cents.
How Does My Load Management Switch Work?
The load management switch is controlled by either a radio or cellular signal. On days when the demand for electricity is nearing peak levels, a signal is transmitted to the load
control switch to interrupt the connected equipment. In most cases, HVAC fans will continue to run in the home and water heaters that are properly sized for your use will hold a reserve of hot water – you should notice little difference in your comfort.
The combined effect of all the switches on our system allows for a reduction in peak demand. Take a look at your load control switch. If the light is red, the connected equipment is being interrupted.
Who is Eligible to Participate in Switch Makes Cents?
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When Does NVREC Use Load Management?
While the load management program operates year-round, connected equipment is not interrupted everyday. When needed to reduce peak demand, switches will interrupt operation of your qualifying electric devices during the following times*:
• Summer operating season is June 1 - September 30.
Normal summer control periods occur, as needed, between the hours of noon - 10:00 pm.
• Winter operating season is October 1 - May 31. Normal winter control periods occur, as needed, between the hours of 6:00 am - noon and 4:00-10:00 pm.
* These dates and times are subject to change, on an annual basis, without notice.
Contact the Cooperative to Schedule Switch Change Out
Why is Load Management Important?
Electricity load management is the process of managing the consumption of electricity to optimize the use of available resources, minimize costs, and reduce the impact on the environment. Managing electrical load is becoming increasingly important due to the rising demand for electricity and the limited availability of natural resources.
How Can You Help Manage the Load!
By understanding your own energy consumption patterns, implementing energy-efficient measures, and using demand response programs like Switch Makes Cents, the demand for electricity can be managed effectively. This can result in significant cost savings, increased reliability of the electrical system, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.